Imagine a marathon: let's call it the "Sunset Run." They’ve recently had a decent event with a catchy logo and a lively social media scene, but still got lost in the sea of marathons. The organizers know they need something more to truly stand out.
Enter "Runners United," a popular fitness brand that shares the same passion for running and community as the Sunset Run. They decide to sponsor the marathon, providing cool running gear for participants and setting up hydration tents along the route. The partnership is a hit! The Sunset Run suddenly has new energy, and its branding is on fire.
That's the magic of a good partnership, my friend. It's about creating a connection, a shared experience that people will remember. And that's how you really leave a mark in the marathon world.
We explore how you can do this for your event by sharing:
- The benefits of collaborative branding strategies for marathons
- How to select the right partners and develop a successful marathon sponsorship and partnership strategy
- The role of custom branding solutions in creating a professional and memorable brand image for marathons
Let’s begin by examining some useful collaborative strategies.
Maximizing Marathon Branding With Collaborative Strategies
Teaming up with sponsors and other groups can bring in so much more, from extra resources to more exposure in marathons.
By teaming up with a local health and wellness club, your marathon event can provide additional services such as warm-up exercises or post-race massages for runners, enhancing the overall experience of the event and making it more appealing for participants.
We’ve put together a table that breaks down three key collaborative strategies: Sponsorship, Partnerships, and Event Signage. Each one is fleshed out with a description and its respective benefits.
|Sponsorship||A partnership in which a company provides financial or other support for an event in exchange for exposure and branding opportunities||Increased financial resources for event marketing, heightened brand visibility, and the potential for new customer acquisition|
|Partnerships||A collaboration with other organizations such as charities or other events to pool resources together to offer a product/service and share in the revenue||Increased brand awareness through shared marketing and branding efforts, access to new audiences, and potential for increased revenue streams|
|Event Signage||Custom visual branding displays such as flags, custom logo tablecloths, and inflatables are used to create a unique and memorable event experience||Increased brand visibility and memorability, engagement with event participants, and heightened brand recognition through social media and other channels|
It's all about creating a one-of-a-kind, professional brand image that'll shine bright in this competitive world.
Learn why you should buy custom printed displays for your upcoming marathon.
Selecting the Right Partners for Marathon Branding Success
Imagine you're planning a marathon and you want to make it a roaring success. Who do you team up with? Picking the right partners is key, and here's a quick guide on how to do it.
- Evaluate their values and mission statement: Partners who share similar values and a mission statement are likely to have a shared vision and commitment to the marathon's success. For instance, MVP Visuals is committed to helping brands increase their return on investment for event activations with beautiful, custom displays
- Consider their target audience: Potential partners should have a target audience that aligns with the marathon's target audience
- Review their past partnerships: Determine the types of events they have supported in the past
- Consider their reputation: Partners should have a positive reputation and be well-respected in their industry
- Assess their marketing and promotional capabilities: Partners should have marketing and promotional capabilities that can help the marathon reach a wider audience
If you really take the time to choose partners who are on the same page with the marathon's values and aims, you can whip up some really effective branding strategies together.
These collaborations can do wonders for getting the word out there and boosting engagement with the event.
Developing an Effective Sponsorship and Partnership Strategy: Key Elements for Marathon Branding Success
Creating a successful sponsorship and partnership strategy is a critical element in marathon branding success.
Here’s how you can develop a sponsorship and partnership strategy, along with some best practices for collaboration:
Clearly Define Your Objectives
Determine what you hope to achieve through the partnership or sponsorship, such as increased brand awareness, audience engagement, or revenue generation.
Let's say one of your objectives is to ramp up audience engagement at your marathon. You might consider partnering with a company that creates custom inflatable mascots.
Imagine having a giant inflatable mascot of your marathon's logo or a character associated with your event.
As the runners start and finish their race, there's this huge, fun mascot cheering them on. The kids are loving it, people are taking selfies with it, and it's even making the local news.
In this case, your clearly defined objective was to boost audience engagement, and by partnering with a company making custom inflatable mascots, you've achieved just that.
Identify Potential Partners or Sponsors
Research and identify organizations or individuals that align with your marathon's values and brand image.
If your marathon is all about promoting a healthy, active lifestyle, one potential partner could be a company that produces water.
You can even choose to include custom inflatable bottles or cans of their product along the marathon route, at water stations, or at the start and finish lines.
In this scenario, you've identified a partner whose values align with your own—promoting health and fitness—thereby enhancing your brand image while also promoting your partner.
Develop a Proposal
Developing an effective proposal for a potential partner or sponsor is like crafting a story where both you and your partner are the heroes.
Start by stating your objectives clearly: increase brand awareness, engage the local community, or even raise funds for a charity.
Next up, share the benefits for the partner or sponsor. For example, their logo could be on all the marathon merchandise, or maybe they could have a custom inflatable product—like a giant inflatable bottle or mascot—at the event. This could boost their brand visibility and give them a positive association with a community event.
Finish by outlining what you're seeking from the partnership. This could be financial support, products for runners (like energy drinks or snacks), or event equipment like custom tents or banners.
Clear communication is the backbone of any successful partnership, and it's especially crucial when you're organizing something as big as a marathon. Here's a bit more detail on how to achieve this:
- Regular updates: Share how the planning is going and any challenges you're facing
- Dedicated point of contact: They should be easy to reach and quick to respond to any queries or concerns the partner might have
- Shared calendar: It helps you coordinate timelines, track progress, and ensure that everyone is on the same page
- Provide feedback: Share data like participant numbers, audience reach, and social media engagement. This not only shows your appreciation but also gives them concrete data on their return on investment
If you're working with a company providing custom inflatable water bottles for water stations, you'd keep them updated on participant numbers, where their bottles will be featured, and any promotional activities involving their product.
After the event, you could share photos of runners using their water bottles, data on how many people visited the water stations, and any positive comments from participants about the bottles.
Evaluate and Analyze
Regular evaluation and analysis of your partnerships are crucial to understanding their impact on your marathon's brand image and overall objectives. Here are some key steps to ensure you're getting the most out of your collaborations:
- Set measurable goals
- Track progress
- Conduct surveys
- Post-event analysis
- Share insights with your partner
Here is a detailed example of what this process would look like:
If you partnered with a company that provided custom tents for registration, you could track the number of participants who registered, gather feedback on the registration experience, and analyze how the tents contributed to the overall event atmosphere.
Or maybe share that the inflatable arches at the start line really ramped up the excitement, so you'll want even more next year.
If you stick to these crucial steps, you can build a winning strategy for sponsorships and partnerships that'll take your marathon branding to the next level.
“The arch and the tent were a big hit at our events. Thank you MVP Visuals for the help and the quick follow up on our order. Very much appreciated.”
— David Wikette, President, Ferrari Club of America—Ohio Chapter
Leveraging Custom Branding Solutions for Marathon Events
Custom branding is the secret sauce to making a marathon stand out. It's all about creating a professional and unforgettable image that sticks with the people you're trying to reach.
Visual branding displays, like custom flag banners and inflatable arches, can ramp up the excitement for everyone involved. Imagine runners starting the race under a huge inflatable arch, or spectators cheering on their loved ones while surrounded by vibrant banners.
Custom tents? They're not just for show. They can be a branded hub for registration, a place for runners to rest, or serve any other event needs.
By sticking to these guidelines, you can make your marathon stand out from the crowd and get your brand noticed.
For example, we previously worked with Southern New England Athletic Association (“SNEAA”) and produced an amazing Colorscape Inflatable Arch for their running events and races. See the MVP Visuals proof below.
Here is the SNEAA inflatable arch during a marathon.
“MVP Visuals did a wonderful job! They provided status updates during the manufacturing process, the arch arrived on time, and the artwork is perfect. We use the arch at all of our races now and it generates a ton of compliments from our runners and spectators. We are thrilled!”
— Scott H. Sutter, President, Southern New England Athletic Association
Successful Collaborative Branding: The Case of the TCS London Marathon
The TCS London Marathon's success is fueled by notable sponsors like Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), iFIT, Buxton, and Lucozade Sport.
TCS’s partnership with the London Marathon is aligned with its shared goals of driving innovation, building communities, and inspiring healthy choices.
TCS has been able to improve inclusivity and connectedness through its race app—introducing the Virtual London Marathon amidst Covid-19 and connecting runners and spectators by enabling live location tags during the marathon.
In the 2022 marathon, they were prominently featured at the finish line in a square-like structure wrapped with pink and black banners featuring their name and Abbott’s.
On the other hand, Lucozade Sport enhances hydration and helps maintain performance during prolonged endurance exercise.
On race day in 2021, Lucozade Sport Orange was provided at Miles 9, 15, and 21, along with Lucozade Sport gels at Miles 14 and 19. Best part? All the bottles were recyclable. Extra points for sustainability.
Custom banners were placed along the race route—on the ground and along crowd control barriers—in 2023, featuring the words 'New Lucozade Sport, Zero Sugar' on a bright red background.
Additionally, there were custom bottle inflatables large enough to fit a person. The inflatables were pink to represent their raspberry flavor and orange for their orange flavor.
By picking partners who align with their values and brand, and nailing down their goals and communication plans, the TCS London Marathon keeps acing its event branding.
The table below shows the custom branded displays that TCS London Marathon uses to stand out from the crowd.
Collaborate for Marathon Branding Success: Investing in Custom Branding Solutions and Partnership Opportunities
Teamwork really does make the dream work when it comes to marathon branding. The perks of good ol' sponsorship and partnership? They're huge!
It's all about picking the right partners, crafting a strategy that everyone's on board with, and investing in quality displays. And let's not forget about the importance of clear objectives and keeping everyone in the loop.
Now, let's talk about the magic of custom branding solutions. MVP Visuals has got you covered there. Think custom inflatable shoes at the finish line, bounce houses for the kids, inflatable tunnels for runners to burst through, and custom tents for registration or rest areas, all sporting your marathon's unique branding.
The table below shows some of the visual branded displays you can utilize for your marathon.
So, for all the marathon organizers out there, if you want to take your event branding up a notch, consider joining forces with organizations that align with your values and brand image.
“Wonderful experience working with MVP Visuals! Excellent service! Our school is in love with our new arch.”
— Carmen, Verified Buyer